Formula 1, Malaysia. Rain and a wet track started the day. The indication was the rain would fade and the track would dry. The team strategists began their plan for tires. Wet tread to start, let the track dry out, trade over to slicks, hard, soft, medium…

The pre-race planning was likely a discussion of just that. Control the tires and control the race. It worked well for Red Bull, finishing up one and two with Mercedes grouped together at three and four.

The post race discussions were likely a bit intense. Formula 1 showcases the top of the pyramid for technology and speed. At this level, you might expect the brightest and the best to be at the front lines.

Perhaps not…

Fernando Alonso and Ferrari were the first to show off some less than average thinking. (more…)

England seems to have invaded Germany with weather. Just like Silverstone two weeks earlier, the Grand Prix of Germany was taken over by rain and wet conditions for practices and qualifying only to open with a dry, green track for race day. Formula 1 was primed for a good race as teams scrambled once again for set-up and tire use strategy. They all had a good stock of Pirelli dry tires as the wet conditions earlier left the smooth tires in the stacks.

The softer compound adds grip but the harder compounds give better wear. Tire strategy timed to have traction and speed in the final laps was on tap in Germany. The earlier rain had left no rubber on the course so holding or gaining through the 67 laps had to play within that strategy also. (more…)

Advertising drives racing. The cars have sponsors. The race has sponsors. The TV and radio broadcasts have sponsors. We expect it and accept it. Watching F1 and the Monaco Grand Prix we’re in awe at the beauty and diversity of the city and the view. The Marina is filled with blue sea and watercraft of every design. The cityscape rises set against the view of the hills. The sponsor banners line the streets with every color.

At best, they present a subliminal impact as they eye is drawn to the speed and road clinging action of open wheel power amidst the tight turns and narrow straights that make up the course in this showcase city with French and Italian influence.
There is a flash of Johnnie Walker, UBS, Pirelli, Shell V-Power, DHL and Zepter. We don’t know what Zepter is but from the tunnel we get flashes of “Home Art” and “Cosmetics”. (more…)